* The Illinois Policy Institute is ramping up its rhetoric in support of remap reform and tronc has published two of its recent op-eds, including this one entitled “How Madigan became king”…
Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s first political splash had nothing to do with policy. It wasn’t a blueprint for a better state. It wasn’t middle-class jobs growth. It wasn’t a successful welfare program.
It was cartography.
Political mapmaking is how Madigan first took hold of a position he’s held for 31 of the past 33 years: speaker of the House. For comparison’s sake, the median age in the Land of Lincoln is 36, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
While Madigan has endured a few legislative embarrassments over the years, he’s never lost the vote he desires most from House Democrats. His caucus has elected him speaker 16 times in a row.
It’s not that I disagree with the premise or the history, it’s just that the rhetoric at tronc is really getting over the top, including today’s “king” reference.
Last week, they ran a cartoon describing the play “Hamilton” as “Powerful Democrats scheme and plot. Some people get shot.” Another person in the cartoon asks “Then shouldn’t it be called ‘Illinois’?”
This past Sunday, the Chicago Tribune’s main editorial headline was “Sniper alert: Why Chicago and Illinois pols are firing on one another.” After Sunday’s Orlando massacre, the paper thankfully changed the online title to “Chicago and Illinois politicians are losing to financial reality. And they’re miserable.”
* Anyway, on to the second remap reform piece written by
an Illinois Policy Institute staffer [Sorry, it just looked like an Illinois Policy Institute piece. It’s actually a tronc guy. All apologies.] and published by tronc…
The current legal challenge to the Independent Map Amendment claims having an independent commission decide redistricting would be unconstitutional.
To me, calling this citizen-led reform effort unconstitutional is like saying voting is undemocratic or flying the flag is unpatriotic.
Amendment supporters are only asking for the chance to put the question to voters. If opponents can muster enough support to defeat the question at polls, then so be it. But it’s only fair to give voters a chance to decide.
If the state’s Constitution didn’t have such strict ballot access requirements for popular referenda, I’d fully agree. But it does. And I’m sure they must know this.